Garmin Virb Ultra 30

9.0
9.0 score
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Garmin Virb Ultra 30 Review Facts

Cameras are a must-have for both those vacationing and those who have work scouting any kind of area for building or repairs. With both heading out in warmer weather, we want to make sure you can find the one that is right for your plans. Garmin is not a brand we typically run to for this sort of equipment, but they definitely deserve looking into with so many finding this particular camera to be a great buy. So, what makes this one worth it out of all the choices out there? Do they hold up when seriously dug into, or are they something you grab only out of curiosity? Well, let us take a look and find out what everyone is talking about with this particular model both bad and good.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Comes with a waterproof case
  • Image stabilization
  • Blue tooth
  • Voice activation
  • Wi-fi and streaming ability
  • 4k/high-speed shooting
Cons
  • Stabilization doesn’t work in 4k
  • Touch gestures tricky
  • Not a waterproof outside case
Accessories

Accessories

First and foremost, in gaining attention is what it comes with, a waterproof case. This is extremely helpful if you plan to go on vacation or may end up caught in any sort of rain or surrounded by water. The last thing anyone wants is to have their camera stop working within the first few hours because it got wet. Thankfully this is covered at purchase with the case supplied along with the camera.

There are quite a few additional accessories you can get as well to amp up your camera for a bit extra. With the aviator’s bundle, you get a rechargeable battery, the charging cables, and the charging/data cable combination cord, the vertical mounts and everything you would need to mount the camera including the tools, an anti-fog kit, the audio accessories, filter and the cage with the protective lens.

There are many other accessories available of course, from 3 different variations of charger cables to the equipment to mount the camera to your bike. They also offer the accessories needed to mount it to your car or other vehicles and even to wear it on your person for a first-person view. This camera has so many options in this category that we could likely write the entire article on just this alone.
Settings

Settings

When you are looking fora quality camera that can meet your needs, you are likely to find this ranking rather high on your list. With this camera, you can get still shots, video and even stream. It even has a list of pro settings where you can adjust the quality of all of what you decide to do. You won’t find much this camera can’t help you within the menus.

You can adjust several things on the pro menu. Don’t like the way the image seems to come out with that little bit of noise or grainy quality? Set the ISO limit to help cut back on it till you are satisfied. Think the color palette or sharpness need adjusting? There are setting for these too. There is also a white balance, spot metering, and two exposure controls to help completely level out your images to perfection.

Video more your thing? Well, there is a file format selection and the ability to stream live to your devices, which means you can even use it to run small videos right to your channel if you are a YouTuber while on vacation! You can even set it to only record when you are moving in front of it, take a video loop and even adjust the audio quality.
Design

Design

While some feel this camera should be automatically waterproof, it is electronic, and the more extras you get right away or can add to it, the less likely the camera itself can be made to be waterproof. That being said, the design was intended for on the go people who want to record their adventures, stream, or use it to take notes for their job. So, Garmin was truly thinking ahead when they included the waterproof protection case that lets you use it while keeping it safe.

This little product also is able to switch from one type of user to the next with only a few accessories which are just plain awesome in our books. Some real thought went into designing a true on-the-go camera that can be utilized as needed for each individual. It also looks good, which is not the easiest thing to pull off when you make something so truly versatile.
Battery

Battery

Well, we all know rechargeable batteries are better than having to constantly keep a supply of double-A batteries around to swap out, so the fact this camera is rechargeable makes it worth a look, especially if you want to steam at all. Depending on what settings you have it going on, this camera can take video from1.5- 2.5 hours without needing a recharge.

If you know you are not going to be around a PC or other portable device that you can use the USB charger with, you can swap out for a car charger or wall charger as well. This means you not only have versatility in how you are recording, but also in how to get recharged. That is a great bit of comfort when your out and want to make sure you catch all the important things.
Connectivity

Connectivity

This little camera has the ability to adapt to most anything it seems. Even with your ability to connect you have all possible avenues open to you. Connect via USB if you want the steady assurance of no disconnect between devices, or if you just want to avoid the lag you are likely to get between any two devices when out on the move but don’t feel stuck to this method!

When connecting wirelessly, this camera has both wi-fi and Bluetooth which is a feature many lacks. Most wireless devices, especially camera’s, only connect one way or the other, but this one has both covered. This means you can easily connect and transfer to your portable devices so that you don’t run out of space so quickly and can share what you are doing if someone else has the connected device n hand. This can be a great safety measure too on adventures.
The biggest news for this, however, is that it doesn’t just stream to your personal devices only.

You can actually use this camera to live stream too! Why is this so important to mention? Because many travel size cameras today don’t actually live stream even when they can connect wirelessly to your devices. This can and probably will be a major plus to many of you who are reading this and make you feel set on this particular camera.
Performance

Performance

While for the most pat this camera seems to have the best of compliments when it comes to how it works, there is at least one complaint. First, however, we do want to point out that it has received a lot of praise. This camera is very easy to understand on use, and easy to find your way through settings. It has beautiful pictures and takes enviable videos. There is a lot to say good about its performance.

Even where it can easily be taken and used makes this a high quality, high-performance camera. With its accessories it can be taken almost anywhere one can think of and record easily, not to mention it has a waterproof protective casing so that you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged. You can use its settings to assure that what you want taken gets taken while not removing it from the protective case, and use it hands-free.

The downside is that some of the controls seem a little off. A few customers have complained that touch sensitivity on the menus occasionally seems to be off. Either the touch is too sensitive, or not sensitive enough, making selecting and optimizing difficult on the camera. This seems to be a minor issue though and isn’t always the case even for those who have experienced it. With most touch screen equipment showing similar issues, it could simply be a tech flaw towards that feature in all things.
Features

Features

The first and biggest feature that any buyer notices when they get this camera is something we have mentioned several times already, the waterproof case this product comes with automatically. This is a major plus given that it is intended for use when traveling and may come into contact with water. However, this is not the only feature this product has to offer its users.

This little camera also comes with anti-fog packs, which prevent water damage inside the casing as well, which is not something many people will immediately think of. Its waterproof case is also interchangeable with other casing styles, which if you don’t think you’ll need to be concerned with water damage, you can purchase and switch around at your leisure. You will have to use some kind of casing, however, because the camera itself does not have mounting points.

You can also choose to navigate without the touch screen, which for those wary of the previous concerns can be a plus. It has two other methods, actual physical buttons, and voice activation. You can even remotely control the camera through your other mobile devices! These are an interesting addition to your control options and can leave the user feeling even more excited about their purchase.
Ergonomics

Ergonomics

Whether you decide to keep this one in its case or not, there have been no complaints about how it handles in either your hands or else wise. The most awesome part about newer products, like this one, is that you don’t even really need your hands once your set up. You have several mounting and harness style options to choose from which relieves you of needing to carry it around and shoot by hand.

The other side of handling is in the way it is operated. You can set it up to run on voice as well as other hands-free options which means having it on a harness or a mounting station won’t mean you have to exercise your ability to maneuver or flex to hit the buttons or mess with the touch screen. If you do decide to take it out of its case, though, and use it by hand, it is small enough that it is easily portable without becoming a hassle.
Price

Price

Although a bit expensive, this little product has a lot to offer anyone looking for a travel-sized picture-taking companion. Set at $399 USD on Amazon Choice, you may flinch a little at purchasing this particular piece of equipment, however, given its versatility, you may want to hold out before switching away. The reason we say this is due to the aviation bundle we mentioned earlier. All the extra’s can come with your camera and it’s not much more to add on. Getting the same bundle for its nearest competitor is quite a bit more expensive, which makes this a decent buy.

We also find that having a warranty is a great reason to go for something even if it gives you an initial pause- and this camera comes with a one-year limited warranty on purchase. Garmin's reputation for following through with its warranties is why we love them so much. If you have any issues not caused by misuse, Garmin is sure to replace or repair your product without hassle. So while other companies may offer similar warranty’s, you may not get the same quality of customer care as you are mot likely to find with them.
Key Features

Key Features

-Interchangeable cases
-Waterproof case with camera
-Several modes and adjustments
-Great accessories
-1-year warranty
-4 methods of control
-WIFI and Bluetooth
-Can Livestream
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you want to buy a quality camera from a company you can count on to adhere to their products ability to perform, you can’t really go too wrong buying Garmin. So, if you are heading out on vacation and are looking for your perfect camera companion, this could be your best shot- especially if you want to live stream.